April 8, 2005

USA Today, Canada Tomorrow

Times have changed
our kids are getting worse
they won't obey their parents
they just want to fart & curse
Should we blame the government?
Or blame society?
Or should we blame the images on TV?

So much media, so little attention span [USAT, via TMN, with the killer heds: "Multitasking: Keeping your children stupid."]
"Blame Canada" lyrics [the last line of the song, parents sing: "before somebody thinks of blaming us!"]


I used to wonder if media were to blame, but I don't think so. I think it's us as a society. We don't have to give in to making sure your child has their own video game console and tv in their room by age 2 or use TV as a baby sitter so we can just go to the bathroom or whatever. Admittedly I only have a 19 month old, but this debate brings to mind this report on those Japanese character trading cards (blanking on the name) I heard on NPR. This mother was bemoaning the fact that her son had made a terrible trade with a card that had cost her $50 or something like that. And she went on and on about how he was spending $200 a month on these cards. Then you find out the kid is 7. This was in the US and I'm 99.9% certain child labor laws haven't changed since I was 7, so where was he getting the $200/month from? Maybe there is a way to stop him from spending that much on cards. Maybe there's a way of stopping overexposure to media and making sure media exposure isn't harming your child. I think the answer might just lie in that thing called a remote control.

good points, but they're not about "society," they're about parents and parental decisions.

Sure, I blame parents... for exposing their children to mass media. It is overwhelmingly adult-content driven and many of the formats dull your attention span, and all of them waste time. There are too many healthy family-building relationship-building skills-building alternatives.


Uma is right, this has the feel of both the guns in the house and the breast feeding conversations of yore. I, for one, will not get involved.

I was going to call you a coward, Cameron, but I bet you couldn't stay out of a good argument if we got one going! I think you're baiting us.

I spend most of my time online on political blogs, so, no, I can't avoid a good fight if there is one... but I guess I want this to be my respite.

Sorry I mean society on in as much as parents are a part of society. I guess I'm just old fashioned in believing that we are responsible for our own actions as adults and for how are children are raised as parents. Unless you're talking about who ate the last Milano out of the bag, that's NEVER my fault.

The folks reading this blog are probably not the type of bad parents we're discussing, so it's easy for us to scoff at 'media effects.' The problem is that media make it possible for bad parents to become REALLY REALLY bad parents. A kid raised more by today's mass media than by his/her parents will come out pretty messed up.

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